The popularity of walking football has grown exponentially in recent years, and a universal set of walking football rules are well overdue.
We believe that the eagerly anticipated rulebook is likely to follow the FA’s existing rules for small-sided matches, as adapted below.
The FA are still in the process of drafting the official walking football rules, and the following are therefore subject to change.
Walking Football Rules:
The following 20 rules can be applied to both competitive and non-competitive matches. They are current as at [date].
1. 6 players each per side. 5 outfield players and a goalkeeper.
2. Each game is 40 minutes long. 20 minutes per half.
3. No running or jogging, with or without the ball.
4. Low impact tackling only. No sliding tackles.
5. No off sides.
6. The ball must not be kicked or defected by any outfield player, or throw (by the goalkeeper) above head height. Free kicks are awarded to the opposing team if ball travels above head height.
7. Rebounds off walls for indoor matches. Corners and ‘kick ins’ for outdoor matches, awarded to the team not touching the ball before it last crossed the barrier.
8. All free kicks are indirect (i.e Players cannot shoot direct at the goal. They must pass instead).
9. Goals can be scored from any outfield position. Goals cannot be scored direct from kick offs, kick ins, drop balls, goalkeeper’s kick, save or throw.
10. 3 roll on, roll off substitues permitted per game. Substitutions can be made when there is a break in play, the ball is dead or the goalkeeper has possession of the ball.
11. Referee operates red, yellow and blue card procedures. Blue card indicates a 2 minute Sin Bin for player.
12. Players sent off can take no further part in match. A substitute may be used to replace player sent off after 5 minutes or first conceded goal, whichever occurs first.
13. Players are not allowed in the penalty area (except by momentum and no advantage gained). If player enters in the penalty area deliberately or denies a clear goal scoring opportunity – a penalty is awarded to the attacking team.
14. Opposing players must stand at least 2 meters away from the ball when a corner, free kick or ‘kick in’ is taken.
15. If free kick is on the penalty area line, the ball must be moved back 2 meters (to allow defenders to position themselves between ball and goal).
16. Outfield players are not allowed to hold onto walls (indoor matches) or barriers (outdoor matches) to block or shield the ball.
17. Goalkeeper must wear shirt or bib that distinguishes from outfield players.
18. Goalkeeper can receive back passes. He may either kick or throw ball back into play. Goalkeeper throws must be under arm.
19. Possession is given back to the goalkeeper if ball travels above head height whilst being deflected or saved by the goalkeeper.
20. Goalkeeper not allowed outside penalty area (except by momentum whilst making a save). If goalkeeper leaves the penalty area deliberately or denies a clear goal scoring opportunity – a penalty is awarded to the attacking team.